Middleton Class

Malcolm Brogdon is out indefinitely, and both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe are listed as questionable, so Khris Middleton should enjoy an uptick in usage one way or another tonight. At his price, he is worth locking in regardless of who is active. Here are my picks for Thursday, February 1:

cash-plays

Guards (G) Forwards/Centers (F/C) Utility (UTIL)
Russell Westbrook,
$21,600
Anthony Davis,
$21,200
Stephen Curry,
$19,300
Devin Booker,
$15,700
Joel Embiid,
$17,600
Kristaps Porzingis,
$16,100
Damian Lillard,
$14,900
Rudy Gobert,
$14,400
Jrue Holiday,
$14,500
DeMar DeRozan,
$14,100
Paul George,
$14,000
Hassan Whiteside,
$13,900
Kyle Lowry,
$13,600
Enes Kanter,
$13,000
Donovan Mitchell,
$13,400
Khris Middleton,
$13,300
Willie Cauley-Stein,
$12,500
Steven Adams,
$12,000
Ricky Rubio,
$12,100
Robert Covington,
$9,900
Eric Bledsoe (listed as questionable),
$11,500
E’Twaun Moore,
$9,000
John Henson,
$9,300
Courtney Lee,
$9,600
Matthew Dellavedova (if no Bleds0e),
$7,500
Dante Cunningham,
$7,100
Tyler Dorsey (if no Schröder),
$6,000

 

tournament-plays

Guards (G) Forwards/Centers (F/C) Utility (UTIL)
Russell Westbrook,
$21,600
Anthony Davis,
$21,200
Stephen Curry,
$19,300
Devin Booker,
$15,700
Joel Embiid,
$17,600
Kristaps Porzingis,
$16,100
DeMar DeRozan,
$14,100
Draymond Green,
$14,900
Jrue Holiday,
$14,500
Kyle Lowry,
$13,600
Paul George,
$14,000
Hassan Whiteside,
$13,900
Khris Middleton,
$13,300
Enes Kanter,
$13,000
Donovan Mitchell,
$13,400
C.J. McCollum,
$13,200
Willie Cauley-Stein,
$12,500
Julius Randle,
$12,500
Ricky Rubio,
$12,100
Robert Covington,
$9,900
E’Twaun Moore,
$9,000
Kent Bazemore,
$10,900
John Henson,
$9,300
Sterling Brown (if no Bledsoe),
$8,200
Matthew Dellavedova (if no Bleds0e),
$7,500
Jahlil Okafor,
$7,100
Tyler Dorsey (if no Schröder),
$6,000

preferred-play

Analysis:

Khris Middleton, Bucks, $13,300 – All of a sudden, the Bucks are a team battling through a multitude of injuries, as Eric Bledsoe is listed as questionable tonight, Malcolm Brogdon is out indefinitely and Giannis Antetokounmpo may or may not play as well. Last night, Antetokounmpo left the game late and he was in serious pain when the trainer was checking on what appeared to be his ankle. Even if he plays tonight, Middleton will enjoy an uptick in usage due to the absence of Brogdon and likely absence of Bledsoe. The good news for the Bucks is Jabari Parker will return to the rotation tonight but he is only slated to play around 15 minutes. Moral of the story: Middleton, who averages 1.04 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) with Bledsoe off the floor (and 0.92 with Brogdon off), will be counted upon to carry the offense for stretches in this game. Assuming Antetokounmpo sits, he will be forced to carry the entire offense (1.12 FPPM without Brogdon/Antetokounmpo on the floor and 1.10 FPPM without those two nor Bledsoe).

Willie Cauley-Stein, Kings, $12,500 – The injury to Skal Labissiere is noteworthy on a team that already has been sitting multiple veterans on a game-to-game basis. Now, if the team decides to sit a veteran member of the frontcourt, Willie Cauley-Stein is virtually guaranteed 30-plus minutes per game, and his upside stretches far beyond that. Only the Pacers have allowed more points on putbacks this season than the Warriors and they also allow the second most field goal attempts per game inside six feet of the rim. Of course, that is where Cauley-Stein lives, so it makes sense that he crushed the Warriors in his previous meetings against them: 19 points (PTS), eight rebounds (REB), six assists (AST), two blocks (BLK) and 43 fantasy points. Since the Kings are terrible, there is almost no scenario in which Cauley-Stein gets benched due to the scoreboard, outside of a 35-plus point blowout. That is a risk I’m willing to take and the price point on Cauley-Stein is more than reasonable. Lock him in.

Kent Bazemore, Hawks, $10,900 – Although he is listed as a tournament only play in the charts above, that would change if Dennis Schröder were to be ruled out. Right now, the team’s starting point guard (PG) is listed as questionable, and he seems like he has a legitimate chance to miss Friday’s contest. Even if he does not, Kent Bazemore has topped 20 PTS in three of his last four games and he has managed at least 37.50 fantasy points in each of those beastly scoring performances. In three games without Schröder this year, Bazemore has averaged 29.9 minutes per game (MPG) en route to 15.7 points per game (PPG), 4.0 rebounds per game (RPG), 4.3 assists per game (APG), 2.7 steals per game (SPG) and 32.2 fantasy points per game (FPPG). Sans Schröder, Bazemore’s role in the offense becomes more imporant (including taking on some of the ball-handling duties), so he should be busy early and often on Friday night.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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